Come rain or shine, next Friday 3rd October I will taking to the streets in my best warm clothing and sleeping out for the evening to highlight the issue of youth homelessness. I’m not doing this for praise or for people to think “oh look how good she is” I simply feel that is something that is becoming more common and apparent in today’s society and I would like to give back.
I’ve recently come back from a holiday in California (of which I will blog all about soon) where one morning I was walking down Venice beach and saw what I can only describe as a community of homeless people. They didn’t bother me as I walked past, they kept to themselves, but there was a lot of them, and whilst they weren’t necessarily youths as such, the majority of them were young and it got me thinking about what happened to them that made them homeless. It saddened me to see these people, but to look at them, they seemed happy – they didn’t have much between them, but they had each other and I guess the beach location helped things a long. They have a daily struggle against the authorities trying to move them on and no community is without unrest. But they seem to make do. This of course, then made me think to the challenge I’m going to take on and how I can make a difference. Because whilst having each other and making do is enough for some people, it doesn’t put a roof and some comfort over your head.
Action for Children is a charity in which I fully support, having nieces and nephews around me has made me so protective over them and the thought of them not being a part of a loving home or feeling like they don’t belong anywhere breaks my heart. Which is why I chose to sleep out to help tackle awareness for youth homelessness. I will be forgoing comfort for the night, sleeping out by the MShed in Bristol with some of my colleagues. We’ll have a ground sheet, sleeping bag and a pillow and an umbrella for if it rains. That’s all.
Whilst I am looking forward to an evening spent with my colleagues and finding out how our fundraising can change lives, I am also aware of the message behind our actions. We count ourselves lucky that we have loving families, a home and those comforts around us and in an ideal world, everyone else’s lives would be the same. But this world is far from ideal and your youth is where you start paving the path to what you want and where you want to go in life. Action for Children gives those in need a chance to start making those choices by helping them get off the streets and turning their lives around – enabling them to get jobs, save for a house and sit the exams they need to get the grades to go University or start apprenticeships.
In the grand scheme of things, allowing someone who felt their life had fallen apart around them get on the right path to a successful future is worth more than a night in bed in my eyes!
Thank You 🙂 ox